PEMBROKE — A Pembroke police officer is back on the job today after being suspended for three days without pay.
Detective Reese Oxendine was suspended as a result of “allegations of sexual harassment,” Gary Locklear, Pembroke’s town attorney, said Thursday.
Locklear would not detail the specific allegations made against the officer, calling the issue a personnel matter.
“We’re trying to work through this,” Locklear said. “There are allegations of sexual harassment. There are findings that he (Oxendine) is challenging.”
Locklear said that the suspension was issued by Police Chief Grant Florita after the chief investigated the allegations.
Florita on Thursday declined to comment directly on the case.
“At this time I have been advised to direct all questions to the town’s attorney, Gary Locklear,” Florita said. “Maybe at a later date I will be able to comment.”
Both Locklear and Florita described Oxendine, a Pembroke officer for about three years, as an experienced officer with about 18 years total law enforcement experience. Florita said Oxendine has served as a deputy sheriff in both Robeson and Durham counties.
Locklear expects town administrators, including council members, to look at the situation.
“This case is unfolding as we speak,” Locklear told The Robesonian late Thursday. “We have to put a hearing together and that should take place shortly. This (case) won’t linger.”
Town Clerk Amira Hunt is serving as Pembroke’s interim manager. The town is waiting until after municipal elections to hire a permanent manager.
A do-over election is scheduled in Pembroke for Tuesday after findings that the General Election in November was tainted by fraudulent votes.